Sat, Oct 8, 2016
Zimbabwe losing $1 billion to corruption; Ethiopia-Djibouti - Electric Railway Line Opens; Ethiopia to Overtake Kenya As Eastern Africa's Top Economy.
Zimbabwe has reportedly lost at least $1 billion to corruption according to corruption watchdog, Transparency International Zimbabwe. Police and government officials have been reported to be the worst offenders particularly local councils, the vehicle inspection department which issues drivers’ licences and the department of education. The watchdog said corruption mainly consisted of public officials demanding bribes for basic services. "The resulting institutionalisation and systematisation of corruption in Zimbabwean political and economic spheres has been extensive," TIZ said. Zimbabwe was ranked 150th out of 168 countries in the Transparency International Index last year and the latest revelation does not come as a surprise but rather, an expected disappointment. Meanwhile Zimbabwe Independent reports that President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday blocked the arrest of Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officers who are investigating him in connection with fraud involving the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).
Ethiopia’s massive government spending on infrastructure is set to help it displace Kenya on the top East African economies list. The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) latest statistical estimates have shown that Ethiopia's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase from $61.62 billion in 2015 to $69.21 billion this year, to beat Kenya's output which is expected to rise from $63.39 billion to $69.17 billion in the same period. The IMF's GDP estimates are based on current market prices using exchange rates prevailing between July 22 and August 19. "Ethiopia has experienced double-digit economic growth, averaging 10.8 per cent since 2005, which has mainly been underpinned by public-sector-led development," the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme say in the latest African Economic Outlook report. In 2000, Kenya’s GDP was 71.6% bigger than that of Ethiopia but five years of growth that has also kept Ethiopia in the World’s fastest growing economies have ensured this monstrous gap is closed down. More news on Ethiopia follows.
The first fully electrified cross-border railway line linking Addis Ababa and Djibouti was launched on October 5, 2016. BBC reports that the new service has cut the journey time down from three days by road to almot 12 hours. The project was completed with the help of the Chinese and cost $3.4 billion. At the opening ceremony on Wednesday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that the rail line would be a boost to the economy.
"It will provide huge benefits to the industrial parks and modern farms that will be built in the future," he said. The railway is expected to boost business in the landlocked country of Ethiopia and is the first step in a 5,000 km long network of rail to be built by 2020. This will connect it to Kenya , Sudan and South Sudan.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tutu writing in the Washington Post newspaper on his 85th birthday has said he would like the option of ending his life through assisted dying as he called on politicians, lawmakers and religious leaders address the matter. He said he was prepared for his death and did “not wish to be kept alive at all costs”.
He also wrote, “Just as I have argued firmly for compassion and fairness in life, I believe that terminally ill people should be treated with the same compassion and fairness when it comes to their deaths. Dying people should have the right to choose how and when they leave Mother Earth. I believe that, alongside the wonderful palliative care that exists, their choices should include a dignified assisted death.”
South African legislation is silent on assisted dying but in an important ruling in April 2015, a South African court granted a terminally ill man the right to die. The law is however still uncertain as to the true position on assisted death. Tutu pointed to laws in California and Canada that permit assisted dying for terminally ill people.
Tatenda is an advocate of cultural identity and African development. Interact with him on http://africanaforum.blogspot.com/
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